Where should I go from here?

Specialties NP


Would love to hear some advice on my situation! My background: I received my BSN in 2003. From 2003-2005, I worked on a surgical unit caring for GYN, urology, and head/neck patients. From 2005-2006, I worked as an office nurse for a pediatrician. I loved that job, but the doctor cut her hours and I needed full time work. So, from 2006 to present time I have been working for a major health insurance company, first as a pre-certification nurse and now as a clinical auditor/compliance administrator.

My question is, I would love to obtain my FNP degree. Based on the fact that I have not been in a clinical setting since 2006, is it going to be hard for me to get into a degree program? I am looking at schools in the Indianapolis area, mainly IUPUI and University of Indianapolis.

So many other thoughts and questions running through my head! Is it possible to work full time while completing the degree? What are the job prospects like for a new FNP with my experience? Would it be beneficial for me to try to get back into a clinical setting while attending school?

I apologize for rambling! I'm just excited about the prospects and would appreciate any and all advice and/or information! Thanks!

I was in a similar situation when I made the decision to return to school for FNP. I was working in an outpatient setting that required some of my nursing skills, but were specialized and not necessarily acute. I applied to school, was accepted and then FORCED myself to transfer to the ER. GULP. Yes...I for sure hated it almost every day BUT I learned a lot and it brought my skills up to date. I was PRN so my schedule was flexible and I could fit it around my class and clinical schedules.

You will find people on these boards who worked full-time during school, part-time and not at all. You can do whatever you have to do...but if you don't *have* to, don't !

Specializes in Critical Care, Orthopedics, Hospitalists.

I have to say, any nurse who has a background in insurance will have a leg up as a practicing NP! I don't think that will hinder you in any way in practice, and so long as you're focused and write a good "why I want to do this" letter along with some good references, you shouldn't have any problems getting into a school. You'll probably find that you're weak in a lot of the patho/assessment/hard science kinda stuff just because it's been a while since you practiced at the bedside, but it will come back to you.

I worked FT and went to school FT for my ANP, and do not recommend it unless you want to have no life outside of school and work for the duration of your program! Once you start clinicals, you will be going to clinic at least a few days out of the week - the only way I was able to do it was that I worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday, went to class once or twice a week in the evenings, and went to clinic for 8+ hrs a day three days a week. Luckily my program only met physically in the classroom once or twice a week in the evenings, otherwise I don't know what I would have done! That didn't leave a lot of time for studying, needless to say, but I made it through it somehow!

I think it would be tough working a "normal hours" kind of job and go to school, but it would really depend on when your classes meet, what you are expected to do out of school, your life situation, when you will be able to study, and once clinicals start, how are you going to fit these into your schedule?

Good luck!

Specializes in PICU.

I would think a 9-5 kind of job would be nearly impossible to do while doing your clinical semesters. I have to work full-time through my degree, but I'm going to school part-time. It doesn't seem too bad, but I'm not to the clinical courses yet. I'm saving my PTO for then:)

Thank you all for the comments - I have read over them several times and am taking the advice to heart! I am very excited about the possibilities!

I would strongly consider getting back into the clinical setting. Even if it's just a PRN job. Things change so fast that you're a few years out of the loop on the latest treatment modalities. Going back to the clinical setting certainly wouldn't hurt you. Recovery Room, ER, ICU, Cath Lab, Surgery, etc. Whatever you have a taste for, go for it!

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